School Outcomes of Children Raised by Same-Sex Couples: Evidence From Administrative Panel Data

Deni Mazrekaj , KU Leuven
Kristof De Witte, KU Leuven
Sofie Cabus, KU Leuven

Although widely used in policy debates, the literature on children’s outcomes in same-sex families has mostly relied on small selective samples or on samples based on cross-sectional survey data. This led to a lack of statistical power, misclassification of same-sex couples, and the inability to separate children born in same-sex families from children of divorce. We address these issues by using unique administrative panel data from the Netherlands: the first country to legalize same-sex marriage in the world. The results indicate that children raised by same-sex couples perform better than children raised by opposite-sex couples in both primary and secondary education. Our findings are robust to the use of Coarsened Exact Matching to improve covariate balance. Further analyses using a novel bounding estimator suggest that the selection on unobserved characteristics would have to be more than 2.5 times higher than the selection on observed characteristics to render the estimates insignificant.

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 Presented in Session 2. Children & Youth